Friday, August 29, 2014

B.S. from the White House to the press

From Henry Kissinger's White House Years: When Nixon offered Kissinger the job as National Security Adviser, he told Kissinger he did not trust the State Department, and that he definitely did not trust the C.I.A., whom Nixon viewed as a bunch of elite liberals. Nixon told Kissinger, therefore, that he wanted to run foreign policy out of the White House.

However, on Dec 2, 1968, when Nixon introduced Kissinger to the press, he lied about his intentions, and Kissinger backed him up!

The President and top advisers lying? Whoever heard of such a thing?

"Acerbic"

From Mail Online:
Joan Rivers is 'resting comfortably' in a medically induced coma just hours after she performed a typically acerbic show in Manhattan and joked about her own death.

The 81-year-old comic was rushed from an Upper East Side clinic to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition on Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a routine medical procedure.

A picture of health only the day before, Rivers accepted a bouquet of flowers from a fan as she finished her stand-up performance at around 9.30pm on Wednesday.

The entertainment legend even posed for pictures with a fan on the way out of the Laurie Beechman Theatre, only to suffer respiratory failure less than twelve hours later during surgery on her throat.
Read more here.

ISIS operating on the southern US border

Doug Ross accurately makes the point that Judicial Watch
now occupies the role that regular investigative journalists in the mainstream media play when a Republican is President.

Here is the latest from Judicial Watch:
Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.
Read more here.

Nothing to mock?

Kyle Smith is aghast that comedy writers find nothing to mock in Barack Obama.
The charter Choom Ganger, confessed eater of dog and snorter of coke. The doofus who thinks the language spoken by Austrians is "Austrian," that you pronounce the p in "corpsman" and that ATMs are the reason why job growth is sluggish. The egomaniac who gave the queen of England an iPod loaded with his own speeches and said he was better at everything than the people who work for him. The empty suit with so little real-world knowledge that he referred to his brief stint working for an ordinary profit-seeking company as time "behind enemy lines." The phony who tells everyone he's from Chicago, though he didn't live there until his 20s, and lets you know that he's talking to people he believes to be stupid by droppin' his g's. The world-saving Kal-El from a distant solar system who told us he'd heal the planet and cause the oceans to stop rising. The guy who shared a middle name with one of the most hated dictators on earth. Nope, nothing there to mock.
Read more here.

"Smaller footprint?"

Putin understands that no one is in charge in NATO, the Iranians understand that they're going to walk through the door to a nuclear weapon, ISIS and China realize no one is in charge. Bret Stephens says there is a meltdown of American foreign policy.

Henry Kissinger saves me from a day at the bureaucracy

I had the day off today, so I decided to renew my license plates. When my number was called, I was informed that I needed to get an emissions test. The last time I got my license plates renewed I was living on the plains in rural Colorado, where the politicians do not require emissions testing. Now I am in the affluent suburb south of Denver, where no one wants to be politically incorrect.

Knowing that these operations were run by the government, which has no competition, I decided to stop by the house and get a book to read from my shelf full of books I had purchased at used book sales, but had never read. I picked Henry Kissinger's White House Years.

Sure enough, the lines at the emission testing station were around the block. I got so engrossed in reading Kissinger's book, that several times I neglected to move my car forward when the line was moving. Later, when I went across town to get my license, I was number 574 in line, I kid you not! The time went fast, as I read about how Kissinger was a loyal friend and admirer of Nelson Rockefeller, and was shocked when Nixon asked him to be his adviser.

Writing this book in 1979, Kissinger writes candidly about Rockefeller and Nixon. Some of his observations about the process of electing politicians are even more true today than they were in the 1970s:
A man who understands the complex essence of the nominating process, as Nixon did supremely, will inevitably defeat a candidate who seeks the goal by emphasizing substance.
Obama v. Romney anyone? One more:
The politics of manipulation may yet be the essence of modern American Presidential politics.

Are we looking for a "less arduous course?"

Henry Kissinger writes in the WSJ:
It is doubtful that claims to legitimacy separated from a concept of strategy can sustain a world order.

And Europe has not yet given itself attributes of statehood, tempting a vacuum of authority internally and an imbalance of power along its borders. At the same time, parts of the Middle East have dissolved into sectarian and ethnic components in conflict with each other; religious militias and the powers backing them violate borders and sovereignty at will, producing the phenomenon of failed states not controlling their own territory.

The challenge in Asia is the opposite of Europe's: Balance-of-power principles prevail unrelated to an agreed concept of legitimacy, driving some disagreements to the edge of confrontation.

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
Read more here.

Putin: "It's best not to mess with one of the world's leading nuclear powers"



Vladimer Putin appeared at a youth camp near Moscow today dressed in a sweater and blue jeans. Alexei Anishchuk reports for Reuters:
President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: "It's best not to mess with us. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers."
Read more here.

No man there at all?

Bill Whittle delivers his harshest criticism yet of Barack Obama. Aloof, detached, cool, supremely calm and confident? Or, checking out until the fight is over, then basking in the glory, as with Obamacare and the Bin Laden killing? Likewise with the Benghazi disaster, checking out in order to be rested for the next day's glory and adulation in Las Vegas.

A man who campaigns and fund-raises all the time so that he can soak up the rapidly evaporating pools of adulation at the expense of the hard work and late hours needed to actually do his job. What happens when there is no one left to blame, or delegate to? If he is a true, clinical, pathological narcissist, then he will continue to run from criticism, evade responsibility. But the one thing that is unbearable for men like this is to be mocked. He'll check out before that happens. There will be no place to hide.

The drones are coming

Buying those heavy bags of dog food can be a drag. Not in Australia!



The use of drones to deliver goods is mostly banned in the US. Amazon, Dominos Pizza, and now Google have all been experimenting. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at it today:
"I don't know that Google is much better positioned than Amazon or anyone else in terms of technology, but the company has a track record of being influential in terms of policy," said Ryan Calo, a law professor at the University of Washington who studies robotics and privacy.
Read more here.

"Decline by design," or "Islands Disease?"

Obviously, I am one who thinks it is important to read daily what the smart people in the blogosphere are saying about the events in the news. I also think talk radio is important, although my work schedule only allows me to hear bits and pieces.

This morning I was fortunate to be able to listen for a few minutes to Dan Caplis on KNUS in Denver. Dan thinks that although Obama says he has no strategy yet for dealing with the Islamic State, that Obama does have a strategy for America in the world: "decline by design."

Dan was talking with another radio host, whose name I believe, was Chuck Bonniwell. I hope I have spelled his name correctly. Chuck disagreed with Dan. He believes Obama is just lazy, having spent too much time in tropical climates, he must have "Islands Disease."

Which do you think is correct? Or do you have a different theory?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Seeing what the world looks like without American power

A firm, conditional "No"

Scott Ott has a satirical piece on what would it take for Mitt Romney to make a third run for president in 2016:
Pressed to list the kinds of “circumstances” which might trigger a change of heart, Romney said, “Well, these are such one-in-a-million long-shots that it’s hardly worth discussing, but let’s say I learned that one of the leading GOP candidates got indicted, or…

just couldn’t escape the shadow of his isolationist libertarian father, or
were soft on gun rights, or
actually hugged Obama just before election day in 2012, or
had no previous political experience, or
had thinning hair, or
lost his Senate seat by 18 points, or
had parents born in India or Cuba, or
had leaned toward amnesty for illegal immigrants, or
was related by blood to George W. Bush, or
swelled up like a blowfish since his last campaign, or
used even more hair product than I do.

“That’s what it would take,” Romney said. “Really far out stuff. But, otherwise, the answer is still ‘No’. And that’s a firm conditional ‘No’.”
Read more here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Employees who make your mission their mission

Which would you rather have, an employee who is compliant, or an employee who feels that some aspect of your company's mission is important, and makes it his or her mission? Seth Godin writes about that here.

"Owning" an NFL team

Seth Godin writes about how football fans want to believe that by purchasing a jersey they actually have an ownership in their team. That sure is true in Colorado, where almost everybody seems to own an "18" jersey (Peyton Manning) or "7" (John Elway). In addition, almost any item you can think of can now be purchased (for a quadruple mark-up) with a Denver Broncos logo on it.

He just couldn't wait to toke up

Australian bus driver crashes into a home, after ingesting synthetic marijuana, morphine, and methamphetamines.

Watch the video here.

Reversing bad memories without using drugs

Scientists studying mice have found that they can switch the mouse’s memory from positive to negative and negative to positive.”
“We found that we can dictate the overall emotion and the direction of the memory.”
Sarah Knapton writes that
this is the first time that scientists have shown which brain circuits are responsible for positive and negative emotions, and reversed them.

Neuroscientists believe they can erase feelings of fear or anxiety attached to stressful events, in a breakthrough which could help treat depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Researchers at MIT, US, have discovered which brain circuits attach emotions to memories, and crucially, how to reverse the link.

The research was published in the journal Nature, and you can read more about it here.

War mongering

Doug Ross's Quote of the Day at Larwyn's Linx is from James Taranto:
"Imagine that President Obama, immediately after his re-election, assembled a sort of reverse bucket list--an enumeration of the things he least wanted to do in his second term. What's on the list? By our reckoning the top two entries are obvious: 1. Sign legislation repealing ObamaCare. 2. Go to war in Iraq.

Now imagine that Lois Lerner had never been born and Obama narrowly lost in 2012. Fast-forward to the summer of 2014, and President Romney is facing the ISIS crisis. Romney announces U.S. air strikes in Iraq and demands that other countries cooperate: "From governments and peoples across the Middle East there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread."

Is there any doubt this would be contentious as hell? Democrats would denounce Romney as a war monger and accuse him of squandering one of Obama's "great achievements," the successful withdrawal from Iraq, by allowing the situation there to deteriorate so as to provide a pretext for military intervention. War protesters would fill the streets of American and foreign cities. Prominent leftists would denounce Romney--who avoided the Vietnam-era draft thanks to student and ministerial deferments--as a "chicken hawk." Opposition to the new Iraq war would mobilize the left, creating the prospect of a Democratic wave in November."

Who is the jayvee player?

Mark Steyn says it is President Obama.

Since when is telling the truth evidence you’ve stopped thinking?

Jonah Goldberg reviews the recent history of our leaders using or refraining to use the word evil to describe the jihadists.
Is it true? Is the Islamic State evil?

As a matter of objective moral fact, the answer seems obvious. But also under any more subjective version of multiculturalism, pluralism, or moral relativism shy of nihilism, “evil” seems a pretty accurate description for an organization that is not only intolerant toward gays, Christians, atheists, moderate Muslims, Jews, women, et al. but also stones, beheads, and enslaves them.

Who are you saving the word for if “evil” is too harsh for the Islamic State? More to the point,
Please read more here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to defeat the Islamic State

Angelo Codevilla writes about what it take to defeat Islamic State, IS:
The first strike against the IS must be aimed at its sources of material support. Turkey and Qatar are very much part of the global economy—one arena where the U.S. government has enormous power, should it decide to use it. If and when—a key if—the United States decides to kill the IS, it can simply inform Turkey, Qatar, and the world it will have zero economic dealings with these countries and with any country that has any economic dealing with them, unless these countries cease any and all relations with the IS. This un-bloody step—no different from the economic warfare the United States waged in World War II—is both essential and the touchstone of seriousness. Deprived of money to pay for “stuff” and the Turkish pipeline for that stuff, the IS would start to go hungry, lose easy enthusiasm, and wear out its welcome.

Next, the Air War

Striking at the state’s belly would also be one of the objectives of the massive air campaign that the U.S. government could and should orchestrate. “Orchestrate.” Not primarily wage.

Saudi Arabia has some 300 U.S. F-15 fighter planes plus another hundred or so modern combat aircraft, with bases that can be used conveniently for strikes against the IS. Because Saudi Arabia is key to the IS’s existence, to any campaign to destroy it, and to any U.S. decision regarding such a campaign, a word about the Saudi role is essential.
Wahabism validates the Saudis’ Islamic purity while rich Saudis live dissolute lives—a mutually rewarding, but tenuous deal for all.

The IS ideology is neither more nor less than that of the Wahabi sect, which is the official religion of Saudi Arabia, which has been intertwined with its royal family since the eighteenth century, and which Saudi money has made arguably the most pervasive version of Islam in the world (including the United States). Wahabism validates the Saudis’ Islamic purity while rich Saudis live dissolute lives—a mutually rewarding, but tenuous deal for all. But increasingly, the Saudi royals have realized they are riding a tiger. Wahabi-educated youth are seeing the royals for what they are. The IS, by declaring itself a Caliphate, explicitly challenged the Saudis’ legitimacy. The kingdom’s Grand Mufti, a descendant of Ab al Wahab himself, declared the IS an enemy of Islam. But while the kingdom officially forbids its subjects from joining IS, its ties with Wahabism are such that it would take an awful lot to make the kingdom wage war against it.

American diplomacy’s task is precisely to supply that awful lot.

Given enough willpower, America has enough leverage to cause the Saudis to fight in their own interest. Without American technicians and spare parts, the Saudi arsenal is useless. Nor does Saudi Arabia have an alternative to American protection. If a really hard push were required, the U.S. government might begin to establish relations with the Shia tribes that inhabit the oil regions of eastern Arabia.

Day after day after day, hundreds of Saudi (and Jordanian) fighters, directed by American AWACS radar planes, could systematically destroy the Islamic State—literally anything of value to military or even to civil life. It is essential to keep in mind that the Islamic State exists in a desert region which offers no place to hide and where clear skies permit constant, pitiless bombing and strafing. These militaries do not have the excessive aversions to collateral damage that Americans have imposed upon themselves.

Destruction from the air, of course, is never enough. Once the Shia death squads see their enemy disarmed and hungry, the United States probably would not have to do anything for the main engine of massive killing to descend on the Islamic State and finish it off. U.S. special forces would serve primarily to hunt down and kill whatever jihadists seemed to be escaping the general disaster of their kind.

That would be war—a war waged by a people with whom nobody would want to mess. Many readers are likely to comment: “but we’re not going to do anything like that.” They may be correct. In which case, the consequences are all too predictable.
Read more here.

Hamas fires fifteen rockets. Iron Dome takes them all out at once.



Thanks to Ace of Spades

Rebuking a commonly believed myth

Who voted "aye" for the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Mona Charen refreshes our memories:
It’s true that a Democratic president, Lyndon Johnson, shepherded the 1964 Civil Rights Act to passage. But who voted for it? Eighty percent of Republicans in the House voted aye, as against 61 percent of Democrats. In the Senate, 82 percent of Republicans favored the law, but only 69 percent of Democrats. Among the Democrats voting nay were Albert Gore Sr., Robert Byrd, and J. William Fulbright.

The “solid south” Democratic voting pattern began to break down not in the 1960s in response to civil rights but in the 1950s in response to economic development and the Cold War. (Black voters in the north, who had been reliable Republicans, began to abandon the GOP in response to the New Deal, encouraged by activists like Robert Vann to “turn Lincoln’s picture to the wall. That debt has been paid in full.”) In the 1940s, the GOP garnered only about 25 percent of southern votes. The big break came with Eisenhower’s victories. Significant percentages of white southerners voted for Ike even though the Democratic party remained firmly segregationist and even though Eisenhower backed two civil-rights bills and enforced the Brown decision by federalizing the National Guard. They also began to send GOP representatives to the House.
Read more here.

Growing

Nicola Tyrer writes about the changing shape of women:
Anatomically speaking, fat accumulates very easily around the waist. The wasp-waisted Twenties woman would be shocked at the dimensions of today's Amazon.
Read more here.

Not to be outdone, Chateau Heartiste comments:
Feminist concern trolls wonder why men are “dropping out” of the marriage market. Well, you don’t need a degree in human physiology to spot a blubbery, boner-killing trend.
Read more here.

From the Centers for Disease Control:
Measured average height, weight, and waist circumference for adults ages 20 years and over

Men:
Height (inches): 69.3
Weight (pounds): 195.5
Waist circumference (inches): 39.7
Women:
Height (inches): 63.8
Weight (pounds): 166.2
Waist circumference (inches): 37.5

Vote for Democrats, then escape to the suburbs!

Andrew Klavan has a tongue-in-cheek explanation of why blacks keep voting for Democrats.

re
Read more here.

The IRS destroyed Lois Lerner's Blackberry device, too!

Bryan Preston reports:
After Monday’s bombshell about the federal government’s system-wide email back-up system broke, there was yet another bombshell.

The IRS “recycled” — destroyed — Lois Lerner’s hard drive in June 2011, just 10 days after Rep. Dave Camp had sent a letter to the IRS inquiring about the targeting of conservative groups that Lerner knew about and may have orchestrated.

The IRS destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry device, too. Even though there is no suggestion that it ever “crashed,” as the agency claims about her hard drive.

Even worse, the IRS destroyed Lerner’s Blackberry after it knew of the crash, and while the congressional investigation was underway.
Read more here.

Bloody acts of revenge



The video above is thanks to Robert Spencer who lists this as one of ten recent acts of jihad on American soil that most of us have not noticed.

Here is number two.


Number three:
In late July, according to the Los Angeles Times, “a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Monday of hindering the FBI investigation into the April 2013 blast by hiding Tsarnaev’s backpack from authorities. Azamat Tazhayakov, convicted in federal court on Boston, now faces up to 20 years in prison.”

Number four:

Number five:
In mid-June, a Tampa Muslim named Sami Osmakac was convicted of plotting to bomb a Tampa bar and then blow himself up in a jihad-martyrdom suicide attack in another crowded area of the city. Osmakac said of non-Muslims: “We will go after every one of them, their kindergartens, their shopping centers, their nightclubs, their police stations, their courthouses and everything until we have an Islamic state the whole world.”

Number six:
Ahmed Abassi, according to the New York Post, wanted to derail a New York-to-Toronto Amtrak train. He also discussed with another jihad terrorist “a plot to release bacteria in the air or water to kill up to 100,000 people.” He was also, according to Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, plotting to “commit acts of terror and develop a network of terrorists here” in the U.S.

Abassi could have gotten 50 years in prison, but he “avoided terrorism charges by pleading guilty in Manhattan federal court to lying on his visa application and to immigration officials when asked why he flew to the United States in 2013.” Consequently, he could soon be a free man. What could possibly go wrong?

Number seven is this dude: Spencer writes:
The Associated Press reported on June 2 that Mufid Elfgeeh, a Muslim businessman in Rochester, New York, “bought two handguns and the silencers as part of a plan to kill members of the U.S. armed forces returning from war as well as Shiite Muslims in western New York.”

AP, anxious as ever to deflect focus away from Islamic jihad, in its lead paragraph here explains that Elfgeeh was plotting to kill troops “as vengeance for American actions overseas.” So why did he want to kill Shi’ites as well? As vengeance for Iran being a bitter enemy of his bitter enemy, the U.S.? Obviously Elfgeeh is a Sunni Islamic jihadist who wants to kill members of groups that he considers to be enemies of Islam. But the AP will never tell

Number eight: Spencer writes:
Virginia: Two Muslims convicted of piracy were ready to launch rocket-propelled grenade at Navy ship

Two Somali Muslims, Mohamed Abdi Jama and Abdicasiis Cabaase, each got over 40 years in prison last May for plotting to shoot a rocket-propelled grenade at the Navy ship Ashland.

They each got sentences slightly longer than 40 years, rather than life imprisonment, apparently because the RPG that one of them was holding was broken and incapable of firing, or because U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson believed that life imprisonment was cruel and unusual punishment. Is firing an RPG at a Navy ship not cruel and unusual punishment for those on the ship?

Number nine is this Minnesotan: Spencer writes:
Also in May, according to KSTP.com, a Muslim woman in Minneapolis named Saynab Abdirashid Hussein got three years of probation for lying to a grand jury about her efforts to raise money for jihad terrorists in Somalia.

“On June 16, 2009,” said the report, “the defendant lied to a United States Grand Jury saying that she did not participate in raising money for the individuals who left Minnesota to fight against Ethiopian troops then present in Somalia assisting with the internationally-recognized Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.” Participate with whom? Where are her partners in this endeavor now? What are they doing? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?

Last, but not least, a man who wanted to bury our God.
Read more here.

Don't hang down your head, Lt.Col. Dooley

Is anyone speaking up for the nine generals who have been
summarily dismissed for no other reason than they are great American military citizens?"
Another military hero, Lt.Col. Matthew Dooley has had his career ruined because he taught a course
telling the truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive, or just too informative."

The above quote about Dooley is from attorney Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center, which is representing Dooley.

It's Libya this week

Want to fly to Tripoli? Here is the passenger terminal there.

Photo by Reuters

Felicia Schwartz and Tamer El-Ghobashy write in the WSJ:
The U.S. and four of its European allies on Monday condemned escalating violence in Libya and what they called outside interference in the nation's political crisis, in which Islamist militias are battling for control of the capital.

Who is trying to stop the Islamists?
The New York Times reported Monday that twice in the previous seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias. The newspaper quoted American officials as saying that in recent months, teams of "special forces" operating out of Egypt had also destroyed an Islamist camp near the eastern Libyan city of Derna.
Read more here.

At least Sarah Palin knew that there were fifty states

Victor Davis Hanson:
For those who are “shocked” at the present meltdown, of a magnitude not seen since the annus horribilis of 1979, in their defense: Obama certainly did not campaign on a new health-care plan that would force Americans to give up the doctors they liked and their existing coverage, while raising premiums and deductibles, while giving exemptions for insiders and cronies, and while raising the deficit.

Nor did we hear on the campaign trail that Obama would push gay marriage, open borders, near-permanent zero interest rates, six consecutive $1 trillion deficits, and record food-stamp and Social Security disability payouts. He criticized Bush for relatively minor executive orders, suggesting that he would never rule by fiat — as he since has done in matters of Obamacare, immigration law, and environmental regulations. Remember the promise of ending the revolving door and stopping aides from cashing in — and then follow the post-administration careers of Obama’s closest advisers.

Obama promised to halve the deficit — not run up more red ink than almost all prior presidents combined. Indeed, he once as a senator voted against raising the debt limit and blasted Bush for borrowing from China. He once sermonized to us that the presidency is serious stuff, that it entails inordinate personal sacrifice and even a virtual absence of downtime and vacation — and then he became just the sort of president he was critiquing. But those deceptions were simply politics as usual, and it was logical for the hard leftist Barack Obama to try to appear to be a moderate, given that no Northern liberal had won the presidency in the half-century since John F. Kennedy.

The antidote to the great madness of 2008 would have been, instead of focusing on what Obama claimed or hedged, simply to recall what he had done before he ran for president and to notice what he did during the campaign.

Polarization? Partisanship? The National Journal warned us in 2008 that Obama was the most partisan of the 100 U.S. senators. Did we assume that he would revert to something that he never had been?

If Americans find their president ill-informed, there was no record that he was informed in 2008. His gaffes were far more frequent than those of Sarah Palin, who knew there were 50 states.
Read more here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Hope for pain sufferers

Lauren Nelson posts about a Johns Hopkins study that showed:
A lubricant that doesn’t wash away could ease arthritis pain in knees and shoulders, keep artificial joints working smoothly, and even make contact lenses more comfortable.

Biomedical engineers discovered a way to bind the lubricant to a sticky manmade molecule that then essentially locks it in place on the surface of cartilage and eye tissues.

Scientists have long known that hyaluronic acid (HA) is abundant in the fluid that surrounds joints like knees, shoulders, and wrists.

HA is an important component for naturally lubricating tissues; one form of the biochemical also reduces inflammation and protects cells from metabolic damage.

Diseased, damaged, or aging joints in hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows often have far lower concentrations of HA, presumably because a protein that binds HA molecules to joint surfaces is no longer able to retain HA where it is needed.
Read more here.

Hat tip Instapundit

You light up my life

Yesterday at the local big box store a female shopper took a small lantern off of a shelf. The store's security officer watched her take the item into the women's bathroom. There was some kind of disturbance in the bathroom, and the security officer called the police. When the woman left the store without paying, the police arrested her. At the police department she was scanned. In her vagina was the small lantern which was approximately three inches wide by five or six inches in length, and a crack pipe.

If either Innominatus or Manhattan Infidel are reading this blog post, I am sure they will help us comprehend the accurate meaning of this true story.

I was not present when these events took place, but I have attempted to interview store employees in order to get the facts for the readers of this blog.

"No such thing as Lois Lerner’s missing emails!"

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch told Fox News today:
A Department of Justice attorney told a Judicial Watch attorney on Friday that it turns out the federal government backs up all computer records in case something terrible happens in Washington and there’s a catastrophe, so the government can continue operating. And they say it would be too hard to go get Lois Lerner’s emails from that backup system.

So everything we’ve been hearing about scratched hard drives…it’s all been a pack of malarkey. They could get these records, but they don’t want to.

And there’s no such thing as Lois Lerner’s missing emails. It’s all been a big lie. They’ve been lying to the courts, to the American people, to Congress. It’s outrageous.

Jennifer Van Laar at IJReview writes,
Mr. Fitton goes on to say, “The Obama administration needs to get on the ball and start retrieving them [the emails], as opposed to stonewalling and continuing to obstruct justice.”

Judicial Watch will be asking the Court for relief on this issue, likely in the form of a court order to produce the emails from the backup system.
Read more and watch the Fox News Interview with Mr. Fitton here.

Update: Here is the Fox News interview with Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch

Thanks to The Washington Free Beacon

Hat tip Cliff Stewart

Something new being born

From Ann Voskamp:
God only allows pain if He’s allowing something new to be born.
Read more here.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

China's problem: Leftover men

Years of the one-child policy and sex determination caused by preference for boys means there are now 20 million more men under 30 than women. By 2040, there will be 44 million such leftover men of marriageable age.

The challenges leftover men pose to China are staggering, linked as they are to a host of rising problems from prostitution, trafficking and sexually transmitted diseases to violence and even ethnic strife, over an increasingly rare resource - women.
Read more here.

A golf game the media did not report

Today I had a quick visit with a friend who works at the famous Castle Pines Golf Club in Castle Rock, Colorado, just down the road from where I work. Guess who recently showed up there for a golf game? Chain-smoking cigarette smoker and Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, and Golfer-in-Chief Barack Obama! My friend says Obama is not a good golfer. He stood just a few feet away from the two famous golfers. Did you hear or read anything about this? Neither did I!

America's dog days of August

Victo Davis Hanson writes about the dog days of August:
An American journalist savagely beheaded on tape, with more promised to come. The Islamic State rampage. The Gaza war and Hamas’s serial truce violations — and the new neutral U.S. stance with implied disruptions in military support for Israel. The implosion of Iraq, the bloodletting in Syria. Iran full speed ahead on enrichment as the world’s attention turns elsewhere. Putin and Ukraine on the edge of war. Libya bombed again. Egypt in turmoil. Christians being wiped away in the Middle East. Ebola spreading in Africa. China squaring off with Japan. Germany angry at being tapped while tapping others. What exactly happened to Private Bergdahl or the five terrorists who were freed for his freedom?

At least there is calm at home?

Hardly: food, gas, and electricity prices are at near all-time highs; a stagnant economy in “recovery” that for most people outside of Wall Street remains recessionary; government soon to be run by executive orders; the end of any idea of national sovereignty or a southern border; the Ferguson riots and racial explosions revealing an America more divided than at any time since the 1970s; the buffoonish Missouri governor Nixon playing the Katrina role of a now imprisoned Ray Nagin. The alphabet soup of unresolved IRS, VA, NSA, and AP scandals; revolutionary, extra-legal justice meted out to Rick Perry; Benghazi coming back into the news; the little reported on drip-by-drip practical dissolution of Obamacare.

President Obama has not a clue how to deal with these crises.

So wisely he stays among the 1 percent at Martha’s Vineyard and golfs, given that he has recognized that the more that he is out of the public eye, the less he is emptily sermonizing with “make no mistake about it” and “let me be perfectly clear.” And thus the less the public is bothered by his abstract presidency, given the less it must experience it in the concrete. Polls reveal that the less the public sees or hears their iconic president, the less they are bothered by him.
Please read more here.

Due process for terrorists

Andrew McCarthy writes:
When an elitist lawyer like Obama claims the criminal-justice system “works” against terrorists, he means it satisfies his top concern: due process [for the terrorists.]. And on that score, he’s quite right: We’ve shown we can conduct trials that are fair to the terrorists. After all, we give them lawyers paid for by the taxpayers whom they are trying to kill, mounds of our intelligence in discovery, and years upon years of pretrial proceedings, trials, appeals, and habeas corpus.

A successful counterterrorism strategy makes criminal prosecution a subordinate part of a much broader governmental response. Most of what is needed never happens in a courtroom. It happens in military operations against terrorist strongholds; intelligence operations in which jihadists get assassinated — without trial; intelligence collections in which we cozy up to despicable informants since only they can tell us what we need to know; and aggressive treasury actions to trace terror funds.

That is how you stop the homeland from being attacked, which is what we have done for the last seven years. And it is that from which Obama wants to move away.

Obama would bring us back to September 10th America. And September 10th is sure to be followed by September 11th.

Admittedly, that was before Obama empowered the virulently anti-American Muslim Brotherhood; made Islamic supremacists key administration advisors; blinded our national security agents by purging Islamic-supremacist ideology from training materials; colluded with Islamic-supremacist countries to restrict American free speech rights; tried to give civilian trials to enemy-combatant terrorists responsible for mass-murdering Americans; imported enemy-combatant jihadists for civilian trials despite congressional proscriptions; waged an unauthorized war in Libya that enabled our enemies to kill American officials and besiege North Africa and the Middle East; negotiated with Iran-backed terrorists in trading jihadist leaders for the remains of British casualties; negotiated with Taliban terrorists in trading jihadist commanders for a deserter; assured Iran’s acquisition of nuclear arms; issued visas to terrorist operatives for consultations on American foreign policy; sided with Hamas during its latest war of aggression against Israel; and declined to acknowledge that the jihadist mass-murder of 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood was a terrorist attack.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

40-year-old woman wins 10000 meter gold medal in European Athletics Championships 2014



Hat tip Ann Voskamp

Giving



Hat tip to Ann Voskamp

Giving back to those who give



Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Another lesson of the Gaza War



Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn write:
In a bombshell revelation, Dennis Ross, the senior Mideast policy adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2011, has admitted that it was he who was assigned the task of pressuring Israel to ease up on its military blockade of Gaza.

“I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infrastructure could be built,” Ross revealed in the Washington Post on August 10. “They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right.”

Not that Hillary’s State Department had been acting independently of the White House on the issue of cement. For example, Vice President Joe Biden told interviewer Charlie Rose on Bloomberg TV in 2010: “We have put as much pressure and as much cajoling on Israel as we can to allow them to get building materials” and other forbidden items into Gaza.

But now that Mrs. Clinton is attempting to distance herself from the president’s debacles in foreign affairs, Ross’ admission shows that it was she who sent her personal envoy to push for a policy that ultimately enabled Hamas to build the terror tunnels.

Israeli officials have long been justifiably concerned about the danger of dual-use items such as cement. On the one hand, cement could be used for innocent purposes such as home construction, in the hands of a peace-seeking, trustworthy government. But in the hands of untrustworthy elements – such as the Hamas terrorist regime that rules Gaza – it could also be used for other purposes. Such as terror tunnels.

It seems Obama and Clinton forgot that Israel is the only country in the world that is threatened with annihilation by a nearby regime rushing to build nuclear weapons. Israel is the only country in the world that, in the space of just 65 years, has been forced to fight four major defensive wars and five smaller ones in order to survive. Israel is the only country in the world whose next-door neighbors have built dozens of tunnels into Israel to perpetrate massacres of civilians.

Today, at least thirty-two terror tunnels later, we know that Clinton, Obama and Ross have been wrong, while Israel is right.

Hamas spent between $1 million and $10 million to build each of those tunnels, using as many as 350 truckloads of cement and other supplies per tunnel, according a report in to the Wall Street Journal, quoting Israeli military officials.

And it is “likely that there are additional tunnels” that the Israelis have yet to uncover, according to the Journal’s report.

Another lesson of the Gaza war: Even as we condemn Hamas’s diversion of cement from the construction of housing to the construction of terror tunnels, let us not forget that it was Hillary Clinton who pushed through the policy that made those tunnels possible.
Read more here.
hat tip Ask Marion

Friday, August 22, 2014

The lucrative business of kidnapping

David Rohde is a journalist who was captured by the Taliban five years ago, and escaped thanks to the help of an Afghan journalist who was captured with him. He writes about what has been a lucrative business:
Last month, a New York Times investigation found that al-Qaeda and its direct affiliates had received at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008—primarily from European governments. In the last year alone, they received $66 million.
Read more here.

The biggest victim may be the rule of law

Scott Ott explains the complicated situation in Travis County, Texas in which Governor Perry has been indicted and the Democrat D.A. drives drunk, then makes a fool of herself in the clink.

Just try to avoid slobbering on your shirt

Which method do you use when brushing your teeth? There is no one way agreed to by the experts.

Priceless!

Not only is Andrew Klavan hilarious, but he also happens to be telling the truth!

What are the consequences?

From Judicial Watch:
The law violated by the Obama administration when it secretly exchanged five Guantanamo terrorists for an Army solider captured by the Taliban after deserting his post is punishable by jail, suspension and removal of office, according to written White House rules.

The nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), confirmed this week that the president broke a “clear and unambiguous” law when he swapped the high-level terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl, an Army sergeant who went AWOL in Afghanistan in 2009. According to rules issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the violation is serious and can carry severe consequences. They include fines, imprisonment, administrative discipline, suspension from duty without pay or removal from office, the rules specifically state.
Read more here.

Could you pass a modern day Social Studies test?

How good are you at Social Studies? Manhattan Infidel has a test to see how much you know and whether or not you know the correct answers. Please hurry over here and take the test. I am sure he is just joking about the consequences of giving the wrong answers.

Warnings from Hagel and Dempsey

Bridget Johnson reports on the Hagel/Dempsey press conference in which we were told that ISIS is no longer the jayvee team.

Selfless service

Gandi in a pantsuit. Hillary Clinton is now taking that which she acquired at public expense, and turning around and selling it to the public. What kind of genes do you have?

Has Allah changed sides?

Michael Ledeen asks:
Why can’t Hamas abide by the ceasefire? Because of the possible consequences of defeat for themselves, the Qataris and the Iranians.

Everybody in the Middle East sees that Hamas lost the latest round in the Gaza War. Its rockets were nullified, its tunnels are largely destroyed, and its top leaders lived shamelessly in luxury hotels far away from the battlefield. It was not only a defeat, but a humiliation, and Hamas now faces challenges to its rule. Sharing power with Fatah is unacceptable — a defeated Hamas would be the junior partner, especially after the revelation that Hamas was organizing the assassinations of Fatah leaders — and turning Gaza over to Fatah would likely doom Hamas.

Finally, there is the big religious issue. Hamas is a fanatical mass movement. As the ayatollahs claim for their own regime in Tehran, Hamas claims divine support for its global mission. Both envisage the triumph of jihad against a decadent, infidel West, with Israel and America their prime targets. Every time they win a battle they proclaim it is a sign of their inevitable triumph: Allah has blessed their efforts and doomed their enemies.

So when they lose, the believers inevitably wonder if Allah has changed sides. When I was in Israel a few days ago, everyone was talking about the miraculous gust of wind that blew a Hamas rocket out to sea, just when, having evaded Iron Dome, it was about to strike a heavily-populated area in Tel Aviv. You can be sure that story has made the rounds of the Middle East…adding to the woes of Hamas and the Iranian regime.

If we had strategists worthy of the name, we’d be whispering to the opposition in Iran and Gaza that it’s time to get out from under these failed tyrants and join the winners. Instead, incredibly, Obama et al stick by their failed vision of joining with Iran in the regional war, and saving Hamas from its well-earned doom.
Read more here.

Where were the parents?

Patricia Dickson asks a question that no one else in the media is asking about the death of Michael Brown: where were his parents?
While we wait for all the facts to come in, can we at least have an honest discussion about the role that parents play in the untimely demise of young men like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin?

It is clear by the video images showing Michael Brown grabbing a much older and smaller store clerk by the throat that the young man did not have respect for authority. The fact that there was some kind of confrontation with a police officer reveals that this young man had issues with authority. The first authority figure in a child’s life is the parent. If parents do not teach and demand that children respect them, there is a good chance that the child will not respect any other person in authority (e.g., teachers, police, and other adults).

No one in the media dare ask Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother, about the video images of her son while she’s making the rounds on all the network shows demanding justice for his death. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, is back on the scene to offer her advice to Brown’s mother. Instead of asking these women some straightforward questions about their role in their son’s behavior that led up to their tragic deaths, the media is portraying them as Mary, the mother of Jesus. Even Brown’s grandfather has been on a network show asking President Obama to meet with him and demanding justice for his grandson.

Where was he when his grandson was stealing cigars from the corner store? With all of these parental figures coming forward, it would seem that someone would have taken the time to discipline this young man. Growing up as a child, my parents told me that they whipped my behind so that the police would not have to. The Bible states in Proverbs 29:15: The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame.
Read more here.

What is truth?

Two of my favorite human beings discuss what is truth. Bill Whittle says truth is an external condition of what is real. Andrew Klavan points us to the Ultimate Truth, the Light.

Build the border fence!

roger L. Simon urges Republicans to get behind the idea of building a fencealong our southern border with Mexico.
Build a fence across our entire Southern border and do it now. Make it as secure as we can. Spare no expense. Add whatever high tech accoutrements deemed necessary.

Don’t pretend for a minute this is about amnesty — past, future or possible — or immigration — legal or otherwise — or even about murderous drug cartels. Those are minor matters by comparison to a dirty nuke at the Mall of America. It is about the Islamic State and all their myriad clones that change every day but still espouse the same lunatic ideology. If we don’t do everything we can to keep them out, we were are suicidal and just as lunatic as they are.

But we don’t. So maybe we are. But we should sober up fast and do something about it. This should be number one on the agenda of the Republican Party this Fall for every candidate. Make it a cause. Give them all something to agree on, Tea Party, RINOS, whoever. If we can’t agree to save Western Civilization, what can we agree on? I am certain the vast majority of the public will be with us. If they’re not, show them a commercial with Foley’s head being lopped off while Obama heads out to play golf. It’s brutal, but it’s the truth and the public will know it.

And this shouldn’t wait for November. Legislation should be drafted by Congress now, emphasizing border security for the safety of our people. It should be publicized and placed in front of the Senate. Let Harry Reid turn it down, let the Democrats lose and then push the legislation all over again. Don’t stop.

The fact that a jihadi can walk over our border more easily than some of us can cross the street in front of our house is appalling. That we have a government that has permitted that is even more appalling.

Yes, the jihadis may be here already. Indeed many probably are. But we have to start facing it. If we can’t do something as obvious as building a fence, we’re hopeless. We don’t deserve what we have. And, hey, it would even employ some folks who need a job.
Read more here.

What values will they have?

Oh, great! A scientist, Nell Watson, who is Chief Executive of a body scanning firm says that robots could decide to kill humans, either out of malice or kindness. She urges other scientists to teach human values to robots, before it's too late!
Ms Watson claims computer chips could soon have the same level of brain power as a bumblebee – allowing them to analyze social situations and their environment.
Read more here.

Feds warn police departments about ISIS threat

CBSBoston reports that
Federal authorities sent a bulletin to U.S. law enforcement Friday in light of the threat concerning militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to CBS News.
Read more here.

"We're in the most dangerous position we've ever neen in as a nation"

Senator Jim Imhoff warns us that our country is at risk from Islamic attacks.

ISIS sends greetings to Chicago

Watch this chilling video of an WGN investigation in Chicago of an ISIS threat to a landmark building there.

Will Obama alter his most cherished beliefs?

Peter Wehner writes,
Mr. Obama is the most dogmatic person to serve as president that I can name. He seems arrogantly settled in his ways, always alert to invent an excuse for his multiplying failures. So far he’s shown he doesn’t have the cognitive flexibility, the proper regard for empirical data, or the wisdom to change as circumstances do. For Mr. Obama to meet the rising threat of the Islamic state, as well as the disorder sweeping the world, will require him to reverse course, to re-examine his core suppositions, to alter his most cherished beliefs (the most important one being that Obama was right from the start).

We’re asking him to do what I don’t think he is emotionally able to do. He’s wired all the wrong way.

I hope I’m proved wrong. I rather doubt I will be.
Read more here.

Turkey and Qatar prop up Hamas terrorists

Evelyn Gordon points out that
it’s no exaggeration to say that without the support Hamas receives from Turkey and Qatar, it could never have built the war machine that enabled it to start this summer’s war, and thus the death and destruction the world is now decrying in Gaza would never have happened.

Since both America and the European Union have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization, one might expect this flagrant support for Hamas to prompt sanctions on Qatar and Turkey as state sponsors of terrorism. But Qatar is the world’s largest natural gas exporter and richest country, as well as home to the main U.S. air force base in the Middle East, while Turkey is a NATO member and major emerging economy. So in fact, far from sanctioning Qatar and Turkey, both America and Europe consider them key partners. In short, it’s simply easier for the West to condemn Israel’s response to Hamas attacks and pressure it to accede to Hamas demands than it would be to condemn and penalize Turkish and Qatari support for Hamas.
Read more here.

Absence of romantic victims

Victor Davis Hanson is writing on a cruise ship in Cypris. He explains how Turky still controls over 40 percent of the best land there. He writes about hypocrisy.
We see such hypocrisy when the West stays silent while Muslims butcher each other by the thousands in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Syria. Only when a Westernized country like Israel inflicts far less injury to Muslims does the West become irate. The same paradox seems to hold true for victims. Apparently, Western Christian Greeks are not the romantic victims that Palestinian Muslims are.

In the 40 years since they lost their land, Greek Cypriots have turned the once impoverished south into a far more prosperous land than the once-affluent but now stagnant Turkish-occupied north — unlike the Palestinians, who have not used their know-how to turn Gaza or Ramallah into a city like Limassol.

The next time anti-Israeli demonstrators shout about divided cities, refugees, walls, settlers and occupied land, let us understand that those are not necessarily the issues in the Middle East. If they were, the Cyprus tragedy would also be center stage. Likewise, crowds would be condemning China for occupying Tibet, or still sympathizing with millions of Germans who fled a now-nonexistent Prussia, or deploring religious castes in India, or harboring anger over the tough Russian responses to Georgia, Crimea and Ukraine, or deploring beheadings in northern Iraq.

Instead, accept that the Middle East is not just about a dispute over land. Israel is inordinately condemned for what it supposedly does because its friends are few, its population is tiny, and its adversaries beyond Gaza numerous, dangerous and often powerful.

And, of course, because it is Jewish.
Read more here.

Ending wars instead of winning them

Seth Mandel writes:
President Obama has long been criticized for wanting to “end” wars instead of win them, painting a picture of a fatigued America on the run. Western Europe has not exactly been a model of resolve in the face of aggression either. But Israelis don’t have the luxury of retreat and can’t treat as quaint the notion of victory. Military victory, in fact, has been the necessary precursor to peace for Israel.

Hamas once again appears to be on the ropes. A ceasefire that truly brings peace and prevents future war and terror is surely desirable. In its absence, the Israeli government shouldn’t be blamed for pursuing victory.
Please read more here.

"From jayvee to juggernaut"

Seth Mandel writes that Obama has
a complete lack of understanding in how individual terrorists operate.

Obama has tended to think of “new” terrorist groups as freshmen starting out at the bottom of the food chain. In fact, not only do they blur lines between groups and switch allegiances, but all terrorist groups benefit from the transnational architecture built over decades by Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and other trailblazers.

Nobody defects to the jayvee team. And it’s been fascinating to watch the Obama administration come to terms with that realization, and adjust its rhetoric accordingly. Every time the administration is confronted with the fact that the global war on terror was not a made-up construct in a fit of warmongering pique but a logical reaction to the fluid, metastasizing threat of global jihadist groups, it struggles to explain its own meaningless distinctions.

The point is not to split hairs. The point is that the administration made a grave and dangerous error in its attitude toward al-Qaeda, claiming the fight could be limited to card-carrying and dues-paying members of that one club. Obama is simply repeating that mistake again with ISIS. Who will be the next jayvee team that turns into a juggernaut? Whoever it is, they will almost certainly take Obama by surprise.
Read more here.

Take Eric Holder's thumb off the scales of justice, Mr. President

So says Pat Buchanan in an excellent analysis of the Wilson/Brown case here.

Picking and choosing

Today we get the news that the General Accounting Office announces that the Obama administration broke the law which requires the White House to give Congress 30 days notice before transferring any prisoners from Gitmo. Read more about that here.

Victor Davis Hanson adds:
And so we get the disreputable Malik Shabazz as a Robespierre-like street arbitrator of calm or violence in Ferguson, various ethnic pressure groups as de facto legislators adjudicating who will be granted access to the United States, and the current administration able to pick and choose which particular existing federal law is deemed fair and useful and which discriminatory and counter-productive — and rendered therefore null and void.

In all these cases, any particular law at any particular moment can be judged obsolete and an impediment to social justice — and so it can be replaced immediately by a sort of revolutionary justice with the full backing of the administrative state.

In that sense, even the old racial warhorses Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have become passé, as we’ve evolved now well beyond the misinformation and racialist politics of the Tawana Brawley carnival, the Duke Lacrosse caper, and the Trayvon Martin controversy. And so what was once written off as street theater has now been elevated to revolutionary jurisprudence — a lasting legacy of the Obama administration in general, and in particular the Holder Justice Department.
Read more here.

Open your eyes, your mind, and your heart

Atheist Richard Dawkins has created a firestorm on Twitter, by saying that parents should abort unborn children with Downs Syndrome, and that it would be immoral to allow them to be born.



Sarah Palin responded on her Facebook page:

Mr. Dawkins, I'd let you meet my son if you promised to open your mind, your eyes, and your heart to a unique kind of absolute beauty. But, in my request for you to be tolerant, I’d have to warn Trig he must be tolerant, too, because he may superficially look at you as kind of awkward. I'll make sure he's polite, though!

Love,

Sarah Palin & family
Read more here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

All-female units deployed on front lines by Kurds fighting ISIS



Weasel Zippers quotes from the WSJ:
Battle-hardened after two years fighting Islamic State and other Islamist rebel groups in the multi-sided Syrian civil war, Kurdish guerrillas linked to the PKK have in recent weeks made a series of military gains that have spotlighted their growing sway.

The Kurdish region of Syria was largely left to its own devices by the army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, drawing accusations the PKK’s Syrian branch was in league with Damascus. PKK officials in Syria have denied those accusations.

Last week, the PKK’s Syrian-based units advanced into Iraq and punctured Islamic State lines to help tens of thousands of Yazidis escape an encircled Mount Sinjar. [...]

Syrian commanders say the security and quality of life is improving as their guerrilla forces expand rapidly, propelled by thousands of young volunteers. Recruitment is boosted by the deployment of women soldiers on the front line, often in all-female units.

“The jihadists don’t like fighting women, because if they’re killed by a female, they think they won’t go to heaven,” said one female fighter.
Read more here.

Funding the bird-killers

Jillian Kay Melchior writes here about how high-speed turbine blades and 1,000-degree solar heat patches are killing hundreds of thousands of birds in California.

The religion of atheism

Ben Carson points out that atheism is a religion:
We must also go back and read the Constitution, including the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion. It says nothing about freedom from religion, and in fact, if you consider the context and the lives of those involved in the crafting of our founding documents, it is apparent that they believed in allowing their faith to guide their lives. This has nothing to do with imposing one’s beliefs on someone else.

Liberty and justice for all has worked extremely well for an extended period of time, and there is no reason to upset the equilibrium by endowing the hypersensitive complainers in our society with more power than everyone else.
Read more here.

"Fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

So said General Sherman, as his midwestern farmboys defeated the Confederate Army. Victor Davis Hanson analyzes Sherman's war aims:
Sherman accepted southern hatred, but he assumed that after he left the Deep South, civilians would start to see a logic to his devastation: The homes and property of the middle classes and poor were largely spared, the infrastructure of the wealthy and of the state were not. That ruthless selectivity would spawn endless arguments among southerners over who was to blame for such destruction — well beyond Sherman himself. Certainly, for all the popular hatred, Georgians and Carolinians were far more likely to be alive after Sherman left than Virginians were after Grant was finished.

What about the Israeli army in Gaza? Hanson writes:
Sherman accepted southern hatred, but he assumed that after he left the Deep South, civilians would start to see a logic to his devastation: The homes and property of the middle classes and poor were largely spared, the infrastructure of the wealthy and of the state were not. That ruthless selectivity would spawn endless arguments among southerners over who was to blame for such destruction — well beyond Sherman himself. Certainly, for all the popular hatred, Georgians and Carolinians were far more likely to be alive after Sherman left than Virginians were after Grant was finished.

Sherman accepted southern hatred, but he assumed that after he left the Deep South, civilians would start to see a logic to his devastation: The homes and property of the middle classes and poor were largely spared, the infrastructure of the wealthy and of the state were not. That ruthless selectivity would spawn endless arguments among southerners over who was to blame for such destruction — well beyond Sherman himself. Certainly, for all the popular hatred, Georgians and Carolinians were far more likely to be alive after Sherman left than Virginians were after Grant was finished.

The IDF taught the supposedly fearsome Islamic warriors of Hamas, who adopted the loud bells and whistles of primordial killers and who supposedly love death more than life, that nondescript Israeli conscripts, through hard training and with the help of sophisticated technology, were in fact far deadlier than a man in a suicide vest or an RPG-wielding masked bandit. The IDF, then, like Sherman, sought to dispel the romantic notion that a uniformed conscript army cannot fight a warrior culture, or that it becomes so baffled by insurgencies and asymmetrical warfare as to be rendered helpless. The IDF went into the heart of Gaza City and came out largely intact after defeating all those it encountered.
Read more here.

Start treating people as unique individuals

Victor Davis Hanson tells us that:
On average, more than 6,000 African Americans are killed by gun violence each year. That startling figure is nearly equal to all of the U.S. combat fatalities incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq over some 13 years. African Americans are the victims in about half of the homicides in America each year despite the fact that blacks represent only about 13 percent of the U.S. population.

What will save us are not more elite and self-serving “conversations” about racial difference, but a new classically liberal effort to consider race irrelevant in our shared American culture. Perhaps if we started treating people as unique individuals and not as hyphenated and anonymous groups, we could deal with these tragic shootings as individual tragedies rather than collective conspiracies.
Read more here.

Where the US Senate races stand today

Stephen Green provides us with a map showing where US Senate races stand today.



Read his comments about selected races here, especially the video of Montana's Democrat candidate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beauty, love, faith and humanity that make life worth living

Andrew Klaven reviews The Giver:
I know author Lois Lowry identifies herself as a life-long Democrat, but I’m assuming she’s just afraid of the whole towel-on-the-head police raid thing. Clearly, she believes that a perfected world is a dead one and that hunger, war and inequality are directly linked to the beauty, love, faith and humanity that make life worth living. In other words, she’s a modern American conservative! In any case, the movie is the answer to John Lennon’s idiot song “Imagine.” It does imagine, and the picture ain’t pretty.

Is it a good movie? Yeah. Good, not great. %71 is just about right. It’s engrossing, entertaining, thought-provoking and occasionally moving. It’s not a rich emotional experience and doesn’t earn the reactions it wants from us. Plus it’s sort of beat-by-beat predictable. But it tells a good story and has excellent values. In fact, it’s values are so good, one can only hope the people who made it will be arrested, audited and hounded into silence ASAP. This is America, after all!
Read more here.

I saw it with my kids last weekend, and we all liked it very much.

How can you be so angry at someone when you don't believe He exists?



Andrew Klaven reviews a film that has atheist reviewers spitting mad. Read more here.

Parallels

Spengler writes that
America will be on the right track when it celebrates Sherman instead of 50 Cent.
Please read more here.

The Great Society Summer of 2014

Roger L. Simon writes that we are in the Great Society Summer:
But, you say, this was a white-on-black crime. An o-fay cop offed a brother. (Never mind that brothers can butcher brothers like it’s going out of style, this pig had white-skin privilege.) Well, yes, and we don’t yet know the circumstances, but even accepting the narrative of, say, the Huffington Post that the cop was the reincarnation of Bull Connor and that the “youth” was a “gentle giant” on the way to a contract with PBS as the next Mr. Rogers, the event is basically a charade. Everyone knows we’ve seen it before and everyone knows we’ll see it again. In fact, many parties don’t want it to go away. The beat must go on. It has to go on or their very personalities will disintegrate. And I will tell you why — what caused it.

The Great Society. There, I’ve said it. The Great Society, which I voted for and supported from the bottom of my heart, is the villain behind Ferguson. Ferguson is the Great Society writ large because the Great Society convinced, and then reassured, black people that they were victims, taught them that being a victim and playing a victim was the way to go always and forever. And then it repeated the point ad infinitum from its debut in 1964 until now — a conveniently easy to compute fifty years — as it all became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The Great Society and similar policies screwed black people to the wall. It was racist to the core without knowing it. Nobody used the N-word. In fact, it was forbidden, unless you were Dr. Dre or somebody. But it did its job without the word and did it better for being in disguise. Those misbegotten kids running around Ferguson high on reefer and wasting their lives screaming at cops are the product of all this. Stop it already. No one has said this better than Jason Riley, author of Please Stop Helping Us. Listen to Jason if you want to end Fergusons.
Please read more here.

I don't know about how it is where you live, but where I am in Colorado, nobody cares what your skin color is. They just want to know if you are a decent human being who can do the job.

Governor Nixon needs to apologize for getting out ahead of his skis

Megyn Kelly is awesome! I also like this "politics editor," who puts Nixon's actions in perspective: pressure, protests, give them what they want. Prejudging and interfering with a legal process. Outrageous and irresponsible.

A global jihad

Andrew McCarthy writes:
Islamic study is the basic pathway to jihadist militancy and that, for members of Hamas, the jihad against Israel is not a parochial political affair but part and parcel of a global ideological movement that is very much driven by a perception of divine directive.

And, whether we choose to see it or not, fundamentalist Islamic religion includes the call to violent jihad and the veneration of it as the highest service to Allah – the surest path to paradise. The Obama administration can try to erase this incontestable fact out of the materials used to train the intelligence, law-enforcement and military personnel charged with protecting us. It will not, however, be erased from the scripture-based materials used to educate and indoctrinate Islamic supremacists.

It is a global jihad. Like the Israelis, the United States and the West are up against an ideologically driven enemy that believes, based on Islamic teachings that are mainstream in the Middle East, it is under a command from Allah to conquer non-Muslims. Its jihadists are willing to die to carry out the mission – having been indoctrinated to believe that that death in the cause is better than life on earth.

We will never design an effective global strategy to defeat the threat unless and until we finally open our eyes and understand it.
Please read more here.

Un-American!

J. Christian Adams gives some information about the lawyers working in Eric Holder's criminal division, which is the division being employed in Ferguson, Missouri. After summarizing the left-wing affiliation and experience of each, Adams sums up:
So what does the corrupted hiring mean to the average American? It means if you go to the Wisconsin State Fair and are beaten because you are white, your federal government will do nothing for you, even as it would act if attacker and attacked races were reversed. It means if you are Marty Marshall standing in your front yard watching fireworks with your family, and are attacked by a mob yelling “this is our world. This is a black world,” don’t expect DOJ to act. It means if you are Dick Retta and are pepper-sprayed by a liberal for praying and exercising federal rights to protest abortion, don’t expect the law to protect you.

What does it mean? It means we have reached that dangerous line crossed in past civilizations where the law appears to apply to some, but not to all. This is un-American, and must stop. Otherwise, Americans will stop it next year at the ballot box.
Please read more here.

Who gets to hold her crown while she speaks?

Extending the hand of fellowship to people who sever hands and heads

I am glad to see Scott Ott writing more frequently at PJ Media. For example, there is this:
Obama’s first foreign speech, in Egypt, elevated a savage ideology and extended the hand of fellowship to people who sever hands, and heads. Now, ISIS rules an expanding caliphate in a U.S.-abandoned Iraq, Assad erases red lines with impunity, a U.S. major general and many others fall slain for a mission with no motive beyond a deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan, and Israel shows itself out the servants’ entrance of the White House, stranded by President Scold.

Obama’s energy policy — a clusterdoggle of crony handouts and boot-on-the-neck regulations — is proceeding with effectiveness beyond Emperor Palpatine’s dreams.

Obamacare, which is Phase II of nationalized healthcare, has succeeded in forcing the responsible people to subsidize the others, in forcing companies to cancel policies and in forcing doctors into retirement. The clumsy roll-out looks like an error only if you posit goodwill on the part of the president. Barack Obama understands that freedom-loving Americans would not leap into universal, government-run, healthcare in a single bound.

First, cause the crisis, then offer the solution. Nothing goes to waste.
Please read more here.

Seeking injustice

Walter Hudson is that rare individual who thinks for himself. He writes:
we are witnessing evidence of a racial double-standard in America. But black people and others of color are not its victims. White people are, along with any of color (like myself) who dare to dissent from the mainstream consensus that historical injustice justifies modern rights violations.

The intervention of Holder in Ferguson stands particularly alarming, because he has demonstrated time and again a blanket disregard for justice wherever race is concerned. Let us not forget, this was the same attorney general who refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party for blatant voter intimidation (standing right outside a polling place with clubs in hand) among other things, and in 2011 implied that white people cannot be the victims of racial injustice.

You want to have a conversation about race? Let’s have it, and let’s cut right to the chase. We are witnessing a regime of institutional racism in this country directed not against blacks, but whites. When the institutions of government and media stand eager to apply a double-standard to one group of people over another based upon skin color, what else do you call it?

Folks like Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other agitators racing to forge political capital from the unrest in Ferguson have no interest whatsoever in equality under the law. Indeed, they have made it clear on several occasions that they advocate for and actively pursue a public policy which treats individuals differently based upon their racial identity and ethnic background. In a word, they seek injustice.
Please read more here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rhymin' Jesse

Jesse Jackson says the problem is the police rioting in Ferguson, Missouri. He says the solution is voter registration.

Be sure to watch the violent punk Michael Brown robbing the convenience store so he can get his Swisher Sweets.

Shot in the back? No, Jesse, not one single shot in the back. One shot was in the top of the head, as Brown was bull rushing the police officer. The rest of the shots were all in the front, not the back of the robber.

Rush Limbaugh explains how the media work

The charming Democrat District Attorney in Travis County Texas

Here is a picture of the drunk Travis County D.A. who had three times the legal limit of alcohol when when was caught driving drunk. She had to be put in restraints. This is the woman Governor Perry wanted to resign. She refused. He cut off funding, and is being charged with a felony.


Read more here.

Cowtowing to protesters

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is calling for a "vigorous prosecution" to achieve justice for Missouri robber Michael Brown. Read and watch a video of this absurd, irresponsible statement here.

Learning about the Ferguson, Missouri martyr



This is why the blogosphere is important. Gateway Pundit provides us with these photos of Ferguson, Missouri's martyred hero Michael Brown robbing a convenience store on the morning in which he was shot by police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson suffered
an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket.” This comes from a source within the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and confirmed by the St. Louis County Police.
Have you seen or heard this information from any other media source? Read more here.

Governor Perry turns himself in

Texas Governor Rick Perry turned himself in at the Austin Justice Center. Go here to see his mug shot, watch the video, and read the story.

American photojournalist beheaded by ISIS

From Mail Online:
American photojournalist James Wright Foley has been beheaded by ISIS forces
Foley has been missing since Thanksgiving 2012 while working in Syria
ISIS posted the extremely graphic video 'A Message to America' to social media
Foley speaks to camera before his death and labels the US his killers
Apparently coerced by his captors into speaking against his country
A masked and robed member of ISIS speaking English in what is thought to be a British accent addresses the camera too
After the execution of Foley, the ISIS member says that missing American journalist Steven Joel Sotloff will be killed next
A man identified as Sotloff in a caption on the video is then paraded in front of the camera
Beheading comes one day after ISIS threat to America that 'we will drown all you in blood' following the US-aided Kurdish recapture of the Mosul Dam.

Read more here.

"At some point bland is not what you want."

Ann Althouse writes that one of the reasons she voted for Obama in 2008 was that she did not want to vote for a demagogue. She cites his race speech in Philadelphia in which he pointed out that Rev. Wright was divisive. But she has come to realize that Obama is bland, and at some point, bland is not what you want in a president. Has Obama learned from his terrible mistake of criticizing the police in the Skip Gates incident? It appears that he has, in regard to his more measured comments about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. Read more here.

Get thirsty people glasses of water

Ann Voskamp writes about what happens when we create.
Whenever we create, we’re in a space beyond time. Ask God.

Elizabeth defiantly knits through the cold of chemo treatments. She breaks herself into bits, a trail, of creative work, because when she makes, she loses all track of time.

Like she might actually lose time, like in making, she can shake time, make time lose her trail and let her go and she could escape free from age and an expiration date here, and I think this is an act of God.

Elizabeth tells me once that when her hands work on yarn, her heart can unwind into prayer. I make a cerebral sticky note for my tubing grey matter: Peeling potatoes. Squash. Matching socks. Combing her hair, all her long hair. Every time your hands toil, rest your soul into a rhythm of prayer. Your work can lull you into the rest of God.

How many seconds do you get to breathe in a day?

How many do you get before your lungs just stop?

Itch the scab of any cynic and what you’ll find is a wounded idealist.
It can seem easier to reject the world before the world hurts you again. The cynics, they can only speak of the dark, of the obvious, and this is not hard. For all it’s supposed sophistication, it’s cynicism that’s simplistic. In a fallen world, how profound is it to see what’s broken? It’s the brilliant who always keep looking for the light. It’s always the brilliant who keep looking for the light.

You are perishable here.
Taste the moments accordingly.

You get to decide whether you’re going to spend your one life trying to make an impression and look good — or make a difference and do good.

It seems too small to make a big difference —- to make your life into bread and that be enough.

To make a meal, to touch a shoulder, listen longer, bring a handful of wild flowers, to be present in this moment and stretch out your hand and let someone taste the grace of you… these are things that change more than the world — they literally change worlds. Yours and theirs and all of ours.

Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God with a table and bread and wine and an invitation and maybe we usher it in today by stirring a pot and setting the table and petting the dog and asking someone who feels forgotten to come.

You don’t get long here before you get to be a memory — so make your life about getting thirsty people glasses of water.

It’s simple today: You are perishable here, Taste the moments accordingly — 
and get thirsty people glasses of water.

Because the Good News is about One who loved everyone to death, the good news begins again everywhere we love others in service and not ourselves in selfishness, the good news begins wherever we make ourselves into His Good News.
Please read more here.

Yawning: a brain-cooling mechanism

Two researchers at the University of Albany have found that
In fact, yawning was found to serve as a brain-cooling mechanism. In the course of the day, our brain heats up as it burns as much as third of all the calories we consume. In order to function more efficiently, the brain needs to be cooled down. Thus when a person yawns he or she instinctively increases blood flow bringing cool air.

Contrary to popular belief, yawning doesn't imply that a person wants to sleep - it may only eliminate the urge to sleep. Researchers also explained the phenomenon of the "contagious yawning" saying that we tend to yawn looking at other person yawning because it draws our attention and this helps the group to stay aware of signs of danger.
Read more here.

Are you a slactivist, or an activist?

Do you take the easy way out and just sit in your chair and click, or can you be depended upon to be there where the need is? Do you run toward people in need, or away from them?

This morning Colleen demonstrated her character. She was dropping Jon off for day two of his high school experience. She was waiting in line to turn into the parking lot. About four cars ahead of her someone crashed into a car that had four girls riding in it. Jon was told by Colleen to stay in the car and call 911, while Colleen rushed to the car that had been hit, and got all four girls out safely. She was worried that the car might blow up or catch fire.

When Colleen called me to tell me about the incident, she said she was amazed that she was the only adult who rushed to those in need.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Where are the happiest places in America?


Relative happiness of residents of different metropolitan areas. Source: Unhappy Cities, NBER

Alex Mayyasi writes about a study conducted for the National Bureau of Economic Research here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Things not looking good for Japan

David Stockman chronicles the Keynesian folly engaged in by Japan in the 1990s:
the Keynesian disease insinuated itself, and it came naturally to a ruling party—the LDP—-that had presided over Japan’s state-driven development model of the post-war years. The machinery of Japan’s politics was all about distribution of construction, credit and corruption among the LDP’s constituencies.

After 40 years of boom and the final BOJ bubble, Japan had reached a condition of “peak debt”. Already by 1990, total credit market debt—public and private—-exceeded 350% of GDP, and by now it has soared to in excess of 500%.

Yet prodded by mainstream economists in the US government and international institutions, Japan had dismantled its tax base in one effort after another to stimulate short-term investment. Its nominal revenues consequently fell continuously for nearly two decades. There is nothing like it in developed world experience.

This untimely collapse of the savings rate will prove especially destructive for the retirement colony that comprises Japan’s demographic future. Saddled with towering public debts and rapidly shrinking work force, Japan will swiftly consume its accumulated savings as its retirement rolls soar. A decade or two down the road it will become an international pauper.
Read more here.